About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6349-6352
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain

BUILDING THE SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE OF STUDENTS: AN EXPERIMENT IN COURSE DESIGN

W. Wilson

Carleton University (CANADA)
Undergraduate students often enter the twilight years of their university career without sufficient mastery over elementary data-gathering techniques; writing, editing and organizational skills; and peer-led learning processes. Moreover, they often lack confidence in their ability to extend research on a given topic or pursue a new topic of research altogether. This paper attempts to address these shortcomings in contemporary post-secondary education by offering a provisional account of an introductory, student-driven class in basic theory, methodology and communication. Although the course is built around a topic unique to Canada – hockey – its lessons can be easily transplanted to other contexts using similar national motifs. In particular, hockey has been chosen because it will give students an instant sense of connection and interest in the course, but it is also substantive enough (in the Canadian context at least) to allow for additional and novel research on the subject.

During the course, students will be asked to create their own body of knowledge on the relationship between political culture in Canada and the place of hockey in Canada. Among other things this might include comparing the historical English-French divide in Canadian politics to the historical English-French rivalry in hockey; the emergence of regional identities in Canadian politics to the emergence of regional hockey identities; and the special economic relationship between Canada and the United States that emerged during the late 1980s to the economic domination of professional hockey by the United States beginning in the early 1990s.

As mentioned, these are only potential topics and students are welcome to pursue their own interests. A tentative course outline will be provided to students, focusing mainly on the political science side of the literature with the expectation that students complete the balance of materials and draw links between the two general subjects, namely political culture in Canada and the place of hockey in Canada.

The class is divided into five phases. In the first phase, students will compare the two bodies of literature and decide on a particular topic to explore in greater detail. Class discussions form a key part of this phase. Students will be taught how use the library and online databases during the second phase of the course to provide a theoretical and empirical basis for their work. During the third phase, students will work on their papers in class and submit them for periodic peer-evaluation. This is followed by the fourth phase, which will see the students formally present their papers to class and engage in constructive peer evaluation. Finally, the students will refine their papers based on this feedback before posting them online. An interactive website will serve as the repository for the body of knowledge that the students create.

Overall, the course aims to enable students to master elementary data-gathering techniques; writing, editing and organizational skills; and peer-led learning processes. It is also intended to increase their confidence in academic work by giving them ownership over a novel body of literature. As a corollary, it is hoped that the course will increase the interest of students in political science literature by drawing clearer connections between this body of knowledge and the “real world" they occupy.
@InProceedings{WILSON2012BUI,
author = {Wilson, W.},
title = {BUILDING THE SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE OF STUDENTS: AN EXPERIMENT IN COURSE DESIGN},
series = {5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-0763-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {19-21 November, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {6349-6352}}
TY - CONF
AU - W. Wilson
TI - BUILDING THE SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE OF STUDENTS: AN EXPERIMENT IN COURSE DESIGN
SN - 978-84-616-0763-1/2340-1095
PY - 2012
Y1 - 19-21 November, 2012
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2012 Proceedings
SP - 6349
EP - 6352
ER -
W. Wilson (2012) BUILDING THE SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE OF STUDENTS: AN EXPERIMENT IN COURSE DESIGN, ICERI2012 Proceedings, pp. 6349-6352.
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